Thursday, February 16, 2012

GTOPG: Their Top Was Heavier Than Our Top; Pens Lose 2-1

By Artistry

You really can't make too much of the Pens' 2-1 loss last night to Anaheim. Forget the Ducks' record (they're somehow only .500 despite winning like 15 out of their last 17), and forget that they have Bruce Boudreau behind the bench (he's Bruce Boudreau). Any team with Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and a hot goalie is going to beat you now and again. Don't kid yourself.

Not funny.
But you really can't make too little of it, either, and here's why: Evgeni Malkin was far and away the best player on the ice in this game, and it didn't matter. He deked, he dangled, he dominated every shift, but he couldn't beat Jonas Hiller. And that's why if we've said it once, we've said it a million times, you need not one, not two, but three threatening lines to win the Stanley Cup. You need to come at the opposition in waves, and what we saw last night was BIG wave, little ripple, little ripple, BIG wave. Not good enough.

Thoughts on the Paul Martin Effect after the jump...

- Paul Martin played poorly again. Let's get that out of the way. His weak pass from the half-boards to the point in the third period of a 1-1 game led to Teemu Selanne's game-winner, and no, we don't know what Paul Martin was doing setting up on the half-boards in the third period of a 1-1 game. But Paul Martin's poor play has a funny way of making people gloss over the equally glaring mistakes of other defensemen. Nothing compelled Matt Niskanen to move further into the offensive zone to collect Martin's pass. It might've been a better idea to retreat into the neutral zone because, you know, he was the only defenseman back. And, still distraught over his undressing by Corey Perry, Zybnek Michalek is curled up naked and crying in the bathtub this morning. But Paul Martin will carry the weight. He has no choice. He's the one with the $5 million salary. It doesn't matter how soft the rest of the defense is. This is the Paul Martin Effect.

The Cottonelle to Paul Martin's Charmin
- Much like Ronnie on Jersey Shore, Teemu Selanne is a "One Shot Bro" player. Contain him all night, but give him a chance like he got in the third period, and it's game over. The Penguins are more of a "43 Shots Bro" kind of team.

Will haunt your dreams

3 comments:

  1. What worries me even more is the huge difference in our only scoring line's production in games against crap teams and those against good ones.

    Since Christmas, they've had a few monster games: TB (7 pt, 8 pt), Win (11 pt). But TB is literally the worst defensive team in the league, and the Jets played the worst defensive game I've seen in recent memory.

    They've had some big games: Fl (5 pt), Car (5 pts), Wash (6 pts), NYR (6 pts - 3 of which were on an EN goal).

    But 3 of the 4 of these are in the horrible SE - and only two will be playoff teams (whether it be Fl or Wash, either of which will be at best a first round exit). And both the Rangers and Washington had a second game where the held the Geno line - to 0 pts. And even crappy Carolina had a second game where the held the line to 1 pt.

    I might put the Boston game in this category too: 3 pts. But all 3 of these points were on the powerplay. They were shut down 5 on 5.

    And then they've been mostly shut down:
    By St. L (2 pts - all on the PP); Mon (2 pt, 2 pt); NJ (1 pt (on the PP), 2 pt., 1 pt); Tor (0 pt, 2 pt); Ott (1 pt.), Phil (1 pt); Ana (0 pts).

    So not only do we only have one scoring line - it's a scoring line that gets consistently shut down against decent teams. I don't think a couple of goals here and there by Tanger and Staal are going to make up for it.

    They look like they are more productive 5 on 5 then they are bc they've been racking up PP pts. And since the league has decided penalties are out of style...

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  2. Solid analysis, Brandy. It really underlines the point.

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  3. The replay on the Perry goal showed that Fleury had his stick down on the ice to stop the shot but Kunitz's skate caught Fleury's blade and lifted the stick for a moment - the exact moment Perry's shot arrived. That was a no-blame goal and it was clear on TV and yet Z-Mickle gets criticized for being on all-fours to defend that shot. I think some are being overly harsh on the players just to create a stir. I know this happens all the time but it is bugging me today for some reason.

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